What a time the team had! From the slums of Manila to the wealth of Singapore, From the smell, the noise and dirt of Manila to the rural and quiet outlook of Bulacan to the beauty and cleanliness of Singapore the team experienced it all.
We were farewelled from Mangere on the 31st and flew to Manila via an overnight stay in a hotel within the airport precincts in Singapore. We all had the opportunity of a visit to the flight deck of each aircraft and Sarah Her had the bonus of a free shower courtesy of some wandering condensation in the aircraft!
Upon arrival we travelled north of Manila to Bulacan where the Hebron Orphanage is located. Diane Bayley had organised a great three days of ministry for us ranging from a disabled programme, a children's feeding programme to church services and youth group meetings. The team also had several new experiences - sleeping under mosquito nets, showering with a bucket and flushing the toilet with the same bucket.
We presented the Orphanage with the toys and books we had taken with us as well as over $700 as a gift. These gifts were greatly appreciated by Diane and the staff.
From Bulacan we hopped on the bus back to Manila and the CMA Guest Home in Pasay City. The comfort of individual beds, air-conditioning, hot showers and flush toilets was just too much for some students who tried out all amenities as soon as possible! After a day off and a day sightseeing we headed off to work with New Hope Ministries, which included a visit with our sponsored child Babylyn. Again the team was shocked by some of the scenes of the poverty they came across - particularly the size of homes and the pervading smell and mess. The team's ministry was well received with many coming forward to pray to receive Christ. We were able to leave with New Hope the blankets we had carried with us from NZ as well as a small gift from team funds.
The other ministry we worked with in Manila was SPECS Foundation with their leaders Romy and Ella. It was great to see the Boys home we had previously visited (Kaagapay Centre) finally completed and fully operational. We presented the drama at both boys and girls homes as well as the Pasay City church. At the church we were challenged to a basketball match. Unfortunately the Filipinos were too good for our team and we went down 48 - 28.